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diabetes education, diabetes self-management education and support, small group education, telehealth, videoconferencing



  1. Ladner, Kathleen A. PhD, MSN, RN, FACHE(R)
  2. Berry, Shaina R. BS
  3. Hardy, Jessica DNP, MPH, APRN, ACNS-BC


ABSTRACT: The high prevalence of diabetes in Alabama and the limited diabetes education available to patients in that state suggest that new interventions are needed. To that end, the authors developed a project to assess whether the use of telehealth technology to deliver diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) in a small group setting is an effective and acceptable way to increase access to such education by underserved individuals. Certified diabetes educators, RNs, and telehealth services at three rural county health departments in Alabama implemented a DSMES program. Data were collected from participant registration forms, pre- and postintervention surveys, and telehealth surveys to assess participants' baseline and postintervention diabetes knowledge, self-care, and sense of self-efficacy. Blood pressure, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, and weight were also measured before and after the intervention. Forty-two people attended the DSMES program and participated in its evaluation. The findings demonstrated that for this sample, telehealth was an effective and acceptable way to conduct DSMES. The substantial improvements in health status, coupled with the fact that most participants had never participated in a DSMES program before, highlight the untapped potential of such programs to increase access to diabetes education in underserved areas.